We need to get the OCD chopping board taken off the market. But before you hate on me, let me explain.
Are you sitting comfortably?
This week, amazon tweeted again advertising the ‘OCD chopping board’ as one of the products they are selling. John Lewis and House of Fraser are also said to be selling the product.
OCD sufferers spoke out and expressed their disapproval, but, as usual, we were accused of having had ‘a sense of humour bypass’.
So let’s be clear about something, because I am becoming increasingly frustrated by comments such as ‘ffs, the humourless w*nker was offended by a chopping board’.
We don’t have a problem with the chopping board itself, and no, we won’t be having nightmares over whether the carrots really have been cut to the exact millimeter. In fact, many sufferers of OCD, such as myself, are completely unphased by whether something is symmetrical, straight, or ‘even’ enough. But that’s another story. I don’t want to blow your minds too much in one go, so I’ll save it for another day.
The problem is with the branding. If this were called ‘the perfectionist chef’, ‘the precision chef’ or ‘the obsessive chef’, that would be totally acceptable. A funny and useful gift even.
What is not ok is calling it ‘the OCD chef’. You wouldn’t use words like cancer, anorexia or diabetes in a product gag, and there’s no reason why OCD should be an exception to the social norm of not mocking the name of disorder or disease.
Interestingly, the company ‘Fred’ who produce the product have responded to such requests, and have actually changed the name to ‘the obsessive chef’. Similarly, companies such as Tesco, The Science Museum and Selfridges have responded to the calls of mental health campaigners and removed the product, and offered their apologies. Yet some companies continue to sell the old version of the product, and ignore all our requests for answers. It should also be noted that the old version of the product proclaims: “it’s OK to go a little overboard. And if you want to wash it twenty times after you use it, we won’t tell”.
From what I can see on twitter, most OCD sufferers agree the product is offensive. There are some exceptions. You will see sufferers saying that they are not personally offended by the product, and that there is no need for it to be banned, as it is just ‘a joke’ that can ‘help us make light of our condition’.
To them I say this: even if you are not directly offended by this product, the thing to take away is that every time it is marketed, sold or given as a gift, if reinforces the toxic misconception that OCD is funny. When sufferers themselves say the product is ‘hilarious’, it merely endorses the trivialisation of our disorder.
If OCD was better understood, this lack of unity among suffers would not be such a problem. But as confusion over the dark nature of the disorder remains so great, presenting a united front and getting the message out there that OCD isn’t amusing; it’s life ruining, has never been more important. We need to lead the way in the fight against mental health discrimination, not collaborate in it.
Let me reiterate, OCD is a very serious disorder that ruins lives. It is a recognised mental health condition, and many people will have had personal experience of it or know someone who has.
Creating a ‘self harm razor’ would lead to outrage, as would a ‘bulimic toilet’. In exactly the same way, amazon’s promotion of this product cannot be tolerated. Sadly, they are not being held to account because public misconception holds OCD to be funny.
First hand sufferers and their family and friends will be able to assure you, it is not.
To those who agree, please sign his petition. There are thousands of us across the globe suffering from this disorder, and thousands more who know someone going through the mental hell of OCD. I truly believe if enough of us take action, amazon and other companies promoting the product will have no choice but to respond.